As Worcester Nursing Home Prepares for Focus on Coronavirus, Residents Must Move Out

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A Worcester nursing home is preparing to become the first in Massachusetts dedicated for coronavirus patients.

That means the residents who have been living at the Beaumont Rehabilitation and Skilled Nursing Center suddenly need to find another place to live.

"Her name is Frances Trotto. She is 92 years old and she is suffering from late-stage Alzheimer's disease," said Ralph Trotto of Worcester.

Trotto was devastated to learn Friday that his mother and nearly 150 other residents at Beaumont would suddenly be moved out of what they consider their home by this Wednesday to make way for the first state-requested COVID-19 care center.

Despite his concern for his mother's health, Trotto says he loves the staff at Beaumont and doesn't blame the facility for the impossible choice he feels they were forced to make by the state.

"If we don't take these kinds of drastic measures, this COVID crisis is going to devastate seniors in Massachusetts," Matt Salmon, CEO of Beaumont's parent company, Salmon Health, said in a video posted to Beaumont's Facebook page Friday night.

"Without these designated sites, hospitals would have to discharge COVID-19 patients to any skilled facility with an open capacity," said Gov. Charlie Baker.

While Baker says this will provide 300 of the 1,000 beds the state anticipates needing for older residents during the predicted coronavirus surge in the coming weeks, Trotto says he doesn't understand why the state couldn't use other empty facilities instead of essentially evicting elderly Alzheimer's patients.

"Not only have I not been able to see my mom for three weeks," said Trotto, "now I can't even go and comfort her on this move."

NBC10 Boston reached out to Salmon Health for comment on why this transition plan was announced and executed so quickly, without any input from residents or their families, but they said they are not doing interviews at this time.

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